Short answer: There could be! But it'd take work.
And now for the long answer.
Most people don't know, but I'm a Percy Jackson fan. If I were a half-blood, I'd definitely be a son of Hephaestus, even though I haven't built a thing in my life. But hey, maybe in an alternate universe, I am his son, and it just so happens that in this universe I'm just a guy who wants to see one of his favorite book series given its proper adaptation.
But can I really call it a book series? Percy Jackson by itself is a solid, five-part series about a kid with dyslexia and ADHD who's thrust into the world of Greek Gods and heroes. But nowadays, you can't mention Percy Jackson without mentioning Rick Riordan's other popular series: The Kane Chronicles, The Heroes of Olympus, and the currently on-going Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard trilogy (I'm still reading book one as I'm typing this; it's going great!)
Unfortunately, when people mention Percy Jackson at any given moment, they may also be reminded of not one, but the two failed attempts at trying to create the next Harry Potter film franchise. I've sat through both films, and while they were entertaining, they just didn't do Rick Riordan or the series justice. Even Uncle Rick agrees (and sometimes takes it to the next level):
Just seeing his response in the tweet is sad enough. Fans of popular Young Adult books made into adaptations have seen some great ones (Harry Potter, The Hunger Games) and some bad ones (The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones) and even the ones we shouldn't discuss ever again (looking at you, The Last Airbender). Percy Jackson, despite the epicness that is the series, is unfortunately grouped into the "Do Not Watch" list.
I mean, sure, you can watch the movie. No one's forcing you not to. I'm just saying that as a fan (and I'm assuming you may be one), the movie's not going to do much for you. It's not going to give you that butterflies-in-your-stomach feeling when you first read about Camp Half-Blood and Annabeth Chase. You're not going to get that moment when Percy is shocked to find out that his father is Poseidon. You won't even get those wonderful laugh-out-loud moments that you saw in the books (Tunnel of Love, anyone?)
So why bother trying to remake the Percy Jackson films when the other two movies failed?
Reboots are all the rage! (That's not my legitimate answer.) My real answer is that stories like Percy Jackson are worth being told in a format that can be introduced to larger audiences. Take the Marvel movies for instance, even before the Marvel Cinematic Universe, sans Howard the Duck. We've had late '90s/early 2000s Blade movies, the early 2000s Spider-Man movies, the mid-2000s Fantastic Four movies, the X-Men franchise, and three Punisher movies, including an independent one in 2012. Were all of them great? Of course not.
But the funny thing is that all of these movie characters and movies have either continued or are in talks to be continued. The X-Men franchise is going well with its rebooted First Class trilogy; now, it's getting ready for its next release, X-Men: Apocalypse, in 2016. Wesley Snipes, the man behind Blade, has said that talks with Marvel in reviving Blade in the new cinematic universe have gone well. We've seen Spider-Man rebooted in 2011's The Amazing Spider-Man, and we're going to see another reboot in a newly cemented deal between Sony and Marvel, starting with Captain America: Civil War. Heck, even Howard the Duck was reintroduced in the post-credits scene of 2014's Guardians of the Galaxy. So reboots, while not always necessary, can give new takes on characters previously introduced in either a successful or failed film.
Who knows. In a decade or so, we may see a Harry Potter reboot.
Alright, alright, enough with the reboots. How would this reboot be any different, let alone better, than the first two attempts?
I'm glad you asked! Well...
#1. We'd be able to start again with CHILD actors!
What made Harry Potter so successful was not just the magic and the idea that a neglected child got the opportunity to go to one of the most talked about fictional schools in pop culture today. It was the ages of the protagonists. Fans and newcomers were able to see a young boy actually portray a young boy in the movies. We were able to grow up with Harry, Ron, and Hermione throughout the years.
A problem that plagues young adult movies today, in my opinion, is the age gap between characters and the actors that portray them. By the time the first Percy Jackson movie came out, Logan Lerman was already 17/18. In the first book, we meet Percy as a twelve-year-old kid. While some may think otherwise, his age matters in the series. We're able to see him grow from a plucky twelve-year-old kid over the course of five years.
Some people may have doubts that a child actor can carry a movie, but we've seen it with Daniel, Emma, and Rupert; we've seen it with Haley Joel Osment in Sixth Sense; we've even seen it with Lord of the Flies, for lack of a more pleasant movie. We have to be willing to let children work the roles given to them, to be able to carry a franchise just as much as Jennifer Lawrence (The Hunger Games) and Dylan O'Brien (The Maze Runner) can.
#2. Uncle Rick has written more books!
You can't have a cinematic universe without a number of films covering more than one story! By the time Percy Jackson reached its tenth anniversary, Rick Riordan had published The Kane Chronicles, a series on Egyptian mythology, The Heroes of Olympus, a series on Greek and Roman mythology, and he was preparing to publish Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, a series on Norse mythology. And the cool thing is that all of these stories take place in the same universe!
While seeing Percy Jackson & The Olympians unfold on the big screen would be a major treat, it'd be even more fun to see the series expand further out. Who wouldn't want to see Jason, Leo, and Piper usher in a new era of demigods for The Heroes of Olympus? Who wouldn't want to see Sadie and Carter Kane give updates on their adventures in The Kane Chronicles? Not only would it be a cool opportunity for kids to enjoy movies starring kids that look, act, and talk just like them, but they'd also get to see mythology unfold before their eyes.
I for one believe that Rick Riordan is leading somewhere with his series. If I'm wrong, then I'm wrong. But the man has been churning out more books than I can read at once. Just the other week, he announced that he would be publishing a new series entitled The Trials of Apollo, a five-book adventure series about the god Apollo who gets turned into a sixteen-year-old boy by Zeus.
With so much source material, it'd only be a dream come true to see it all play out on screen. And while there are so many books in Riordan's expanded universe, shooting films back to back at short intervals may allow the movies to come out year after year without feeling like the series is dragging out. It'd be a dream to see the universe go the Marvel route with two to three movies a year. I could definitely see that happening with Heroes of Olympus, which takes place over the course of a few months.
#3. Rick Riordan would have major involvement.
I know, authors tend to get a sense of entitlement with their projects. But when a film company has the rights to your project and they want to pursue it, the ball has to fall in someone's court. It could turn out great, or it could be horrible. If Riordan got a sweet deal in order to see his vision played out the way he intended without stepping on anyone's toes, I think the cinematic universe would benefit in a major way.
#4. It'd be a major franchise that could rival the Marvel Cinematic Universe in terms of the number of films...bonus: featuring kids!
Period. That's literally it. It'd be a dream to see years worth of work helmed by child actors, all who are working in their own films while coming together in the end.
What gripped me to the Percy Jackson universe at thirteen was the fact that Percy and his friends were captivating characters. They were unique and blended well to tell a story of what it means to belong and how we play a part in the world. From the Percy Jackson series to Heroes of Olympus, all of Riordan's series feature children from different walks of life, all coming together to save the world from dangerous threats. All children matter in the end. I believe that's the idea behind all of these books, and he explores it in funny, heartfelt ways that have made me a fan for years to come.
Got it? Good.
Alright, that was a mouthful. Would I want to see a Percy Jackson Cinematic Universe (PJCU for short)? Of course I would. I'd love to see all of my favorite books turned into movies properly. Is it possible that a Percy Jackson Cinematic Universe could happen? It'd be tough, I admit. But just the idea of it gives me chills.
Until next time, half-bloods!